Category Archives: Engineering Sector/Steel and Metals Industry

Local motorcycles could grab Asia market

Local motorcycles could grab Asia market

A Bangladesh-manufactured Walton Motorcycle. Source:

Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, JAN 5: The country’s emerging motorcycle industry could grab a significant portion of the Asian market if provided with proper government policy support, stakeholders said on Thursday.

The manufacturers, importers, dealers involved in the motorcycle industry demanded access to finance, energy security and infrastructure development to continue the industry’s impressive growth, which was 25 per cent last year. The stakeholders were speaking at a meeting on “Developing policy guideline for basic motorcycle manufacturing industry in Bangladesh” organised by International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) in the capital.

Md Mojibur Rahman, chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission, was present as the chief guest. ABM Khorshed Alam, additional secretary at the Ministry of Industries, Md Shah Alam Khan, member (Customs), National Board of Revenue, and Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, president of IBFB, were also present.

M Kamal Uddin, director of Institute of Appropriate Technology, BUET, presented a keynote paper at the meeting.

“The tariff policy needs revision, especially the supplementary duties has to be reduced,” said Md Lokman Hossain, international marketing manager of Walton Automobiles, leading motorcycle manufacturer of Bangladesh.

“The bicycle industry gets 15 per cent cash incentives for exports, but we aren’t getting any. We have manpower and technology. We only need government’s support,” Hossain said. The raw material procurement policy and technology transfer mechanism should also be in place to rev up the industry growth, he added.

Motorcycle sales each year in the developing countries account for 90 per cent of the world consumption, Kamal Uddin in his paper said.

“Honda Motors of Japan dominated the Asian motorcycle industry because of their strong R&D, proper management and innovation,” Kamal said. The government has to formulate technology development and innovation policy and national skill committee to develop skilled manpower for this sector, he added.

China is currently leading the motorcycle production in Asia, accounting for 50 per cent of the total production of 17 million units per year.

India produces 5 million, Japan 1.5 million and Vietnam 2 million units per year.

Bangladesh motorcycle industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Stakeholders are expecting a 25 per cent annual growth in the next five years.

The domestic demand is met by imports from Japan, India, Taiwan, China and Pakistan.

Kamal said a regulatory body should be formed inside Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), with representations from FBCCI, BSTI, NBR and BUET, to coordinate among different bodies in the industry.

Bangladesh motor industry has three types of motorcycle suppliers: importers, assemblers and manufacturers.

The industry has three divisions: CBU (Completely Build-up Unit), CKD or SKD  (Completely or Semi Knocked Down) and manufacturing. Few local enterprises like Walton Automobiles and Runner Automobiles have taken initiatives to manufacture motorcycles locally.

Road Master Ltd, Honda and Bajaj are going to set up manufacturing plants soon.

BRS invents new gas stove

BRS invents new gas stove
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, JAN 5: The BRS Engineering Works, a leading manufacturer of gas stove has invented a new gas stove at Lalbagh in the city, that consumes 30 per cent less gas, says a press release.

The proprietor of BRS, M Mujibul Hoque said he has used imported parts to develop the stove and has named it Flame King Gas Stove. It will save a huge quantity of natural gas, a national wealth. According to the press release, BRS has been engaged in manufacturing gas stove for many years. Mujibul noticed that traditional burners require too much gas and the developed new invented gas stoves  reduce consumption.

Mujibul said everyone should use new stoves in national interest.

BRS offers two year’s warranty for new gas stoves.

Intraco to assemble Ambassador car

Intraco to assemble Ambassador car
Author / Source : Jasim Uddin Khan

Dhaka, Dec 23: Intraco group, the leading CNG conversion company in the country will assemble India’s Hindustan Motors’ iconic Ambassador car. The company management last week talked with Hindustan Motors India and advanced into an ‘in principal agreement’ in this connection.

Intraco group, the owning company of Agrabad Hotel, Chittagong is constructing a factory at Savar aiming to assemble 200 Ambassador Car per month in Bangladesh within next two years. “Initially, we will be importing the Ambassador car to Bangladesh as a complete built unit (CBU), which has already started on a trial basis. When the volume attains a certain number, we will also bring as completely knocked down (CKD). We have entered into an in-principle understanding with Hindhustan Motors India,” Riyadh Ali, Managing Director of Intraco Group said. He said the aim is to use Ambassador cars as taxicabs for Dhaka’s road.

Once widely popular for both personal and institutional use, the Ambassador lost its popularity, despite India becoming a hot spot for global car makers. The car’s diesel engines (1.5 litre and 2.0 litre) are yet to attain BS-IV emission norms, made mandatory in 13 major cities from April 2010. In 2010-11, HM sold 10,097 vehicles, compared to 11,003 in 2009-10. Sales of the Ambassador dropped to about 6,600 last year, compared to a little over 8,000 in the previous year. It has since further declined, with sales so far being only half of the previous year.

The company is working on a new-look Ambassador, with changes in both exterior and interior design, to attract the younger generation. The vehicle, which the company believes will help it stay relevant in the present market, is likely to be unveiled next year.

Intraco group started business from residential hotel to Real Estate, Shipping Lines, Cold Storage, Yarn & Dying has achieved around 150% growth from its 18 sister concerns.

UK farm plans to set up $25m door lock manufacturing plant

UK farm plans to set up $25m door lock manufacturing plant

DHAKA, Dec 1 (BSS)- APECS UK, a chemical door hardware manufacturer, today said it would set up a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh to manufacture door locks and handles.

Initially, the company in collaboration with Bangladeshi and Chinese entrepreneurs will invest 25 million US dollars to set up the unit.

This was revealed at a meeting between Industries Minister Dilip Barua and a delegation comprising entrepreneurs of Bangladesh, China and the UK at the former’s office here, said an official release.

Managing director of Multidrive Ltd Sadek H Chowdhury, general manager Gopeswar Debnath, official of APECS UK Andrey Gorcharov, Chinese entrepreneurs Li Guang You, Su Zhiyon and Zhang were present.

They said the plant would produce 50 lakh unit door locks and hardware annually and create 300 employment opportunities.

During the meeting, they discussed various issues including China’s rising labour cost that is prompting Chinese investors to relocate their factories in countries, including Bangladesh, for cheaper labour cost.

Dilip Barua said Bangladesh is now offering lucrative investment-friendly facilities to attract foreign investment here.

The facilities include simplified work permit, hundred percent investment return and reinvestment, he added.

Joint venture plant to be set up to produce spare parts for jute mills

Joint venture plant to be set up to produce spare parts for jute mills

DHAKA, Nov 24 (BSS) – A state-owned Bangladeshi enterprise will set up a joint venture plant upgrading the existing facility with an Indian company to produce spare parts for jute mills, officials said here today.

“We hope the proposed joint venture plant will export machinery and spare parts after meeting the needs of jute mills in the country,” Textiles Minister Latif Siddiqui told newsmen at his ministry.

He said the draft of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the proposed venture between the state-owned Galfra-Habib Limited and Indian Lagan Engineering Company Limited (LECL) was finalized today at an inter- ministerial meeting as the deal is expected to be inked next week.

Earlier briefing newsmen on the proposed venture, secretary of the ministry Mohammad Ashraful Moqbul said the proposed venture would cost Taka 6 crore of which the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) would provide half of the amount while the Indian company would bear the rest.

Moqbul said the Chittagong-based Galfra-Habib Limited, an affiliate of the BJMC, was so far producing tools and spare parts for jute mills but under the JVC it would now be upgraded and modernized.

Moqbul said that Lagan would install modern manufacturing machine and provide technical assistance to the joint vsture plant.

Bangladesh currently needs to import spare parts at high price but the proposed venture could supply them at a much cheaper price, he said.

“After signing the MoU an operational agreement will be signed for final production,” the secretary said.

Earlier, the draft was approved after vetting from the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.

Minister for Textiles & Jute Abdul Latif Siddique who presided over the meeting said the government has taken the initiative to make Galfra-Habib Limited a modern and profitable tools factory in the country.

“Awami League led government as well as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has consented to reopen jute mills, which were closed during the last BNP-Jamaat regime, said Abdul Latif Siddique. He said the government reopened two jute mills and two more will be reopened in March 2012.

Among others, secretary of the ministry Md Ashraful Moqbul, Chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), director Foreign Affairs Ministry Md Harun Al-Rashid, Dr Narayan Chandra Singh, financial analyst of Finance Ministry, joint secretary of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry Abu Ahmed Jamadar and deputy secretary of Commerce Ministry Md Sadar Ali Biswas, Finance and Law and Parliamentary Affairs were present at the meeting.

Bicycle parts made in Jhenidah

Districts in Focus
Bicycle parts made in Jhenidah
Azibor Rahman, Jhenidah

A small factory in Jhenidah is making brisk business making bicycle spare parts. The factory — Modern Cycle Parts Industry — produces high quality items to sell in Jhenidah and neighbouring districts.

Chief parts maker and supervisor Shamsul Islam said, “We make 11 kinds of bicycle parts and sell to different districts in Bangladesh. We make carriers, side stands, relay clamps, springs, carrier springs, lock clips, bell clamps, etc.”

Shiba Nanda Das, the factory owner, said he procures raw materials from Dhaka. He needs to procure iron bars, fine wires and plain sheets. He sells the parts to wholesalers in Meherpur, Jessore, Magura, Kushtia, Faridpur, Naogaon and Satkhira.

Islam said, “We can make 250 stands a day, 40 carriers, 500 springs, and 50 dozen relay clamps.”

Shiba said, “Carriers cost Tk 200 to make and sell for Tk 215, side stands cost Tk 40 and sell for Tk 42.50, relay clamps cost Tk 14 a dozen and sell for Tk 16, a spring costs Tk 7 and sells for Tk 8, lock clips cost Tk 10 a dozen and sell for Tk 12, bell clamps cost Tk 63 a dozen and sell for Tk 65.”

The parts are painted with zinc to protect from rusting.

Monirul Islam, an assistant at the factory, said, “We are able to run our families from our earnings at the factory. Although it is a district-based factory, we supply a large number of parts to different districts all around the country.”

In addition, wholesale buyers come to the factory to collect spare parts too, he said.

Sabdar Hossain, an owner of a cycle parts shop, said, “Most owners of cycle shops in Jessore buy a huge quantity of parts from Jhenidah. All the parts are of good quality.”

Shariful Islam, another cycle shop owner in Kaliganj upazila town, said, “We buy cycle parts from the local factory. We get good profits by selling the parts. ”

Miraz Hossain, a wholesale parts seller in Kushtia, said, “I buy cycle parts from here and supply to different markets in Kushtia and Magura.”

Shiba said, “I need funds at the moment to expand business operations. It will also help to employ a good number of people in the area.”

Pragati’s Pajero SUV handed over to president

Pragati’s Pajero SUV handed over to president
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

Industries minister Dilip Barua on Tuesday handed over the key of a modern Pajero Sports Utility Vehicle, assembled by the local automobile engineers of state owned Pragati Industries Ltd, to president Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban in Dhaka.

On the occasion, the industries minister apprised the president that the Pragati Industries Ltd, an enterprise under the industries ministry, has recently assembled two Pajero SUVs as test run in line with its agreement with world renowned Japanese Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.

The minister informed the president that the Pragati Industries was presently working on assembling more 100 Pajero SUVs in Bangladesh to sell those commercially.

The experts of Mitsubishi Motors has issued the certificate of marketing the Pragati assembled Pajero SUVs after conducting detail quality check of the new assembled vehicles.

Dilip apprised the president that Pragati Industries Ltd was also working to assemble Sedan in Bangladesh. ‘We can be able to sell our assemble Sedans in next year,’ he said.

The minister also informed that so far Pragati assembled 30 Pajero CR-45 jeeps and of them 15 were sold to the government organisations.

President Zillur thanked all concerned with the Pragati Industries to assemble modern vehicles locally.

Brother manufactures machine for RMG

Brother manufactures machine for RMG
Business Desk

Brother Bangladesh – a reputed international weaving machine manufacturer– recently manufactured a high-powered, weather-friendly and power efficient machine for the RMG sector. High officials of the Brother disclosed it at a meeting in the city recently, said a press release. Among others, Raihan Uddin Khan, country manager, Brother Bangladesh, Yashimi Ito, general manager and Mroshinori Suzuki, general manager, Brother Industries in Japan were present on the occasion.

UK power company plans expansion in Bangladesh

Business Interview
UK power company plans expansion in Bangladesh
T&R high-up shares his views on solar power and the company’s future plan with The Daily Star

Steve Bandey

Md Fazlur Rahman

A UK-based power company plans to set up a solar panel manufacturing plant and a diesel-run power generator producing plant in Bangladesh to expand its business and help the country meet the soaring demand for energy, a top official said.

“My immediate plan is to do something quickly as Bangladesh is growing very fast and so the demand for solar energy products. I’m not going to wait,” said Steve Bandey, managing director of Transformers & Rectifiers Ltd (T&R).

“I would like to form joint partnership with local companies so that we can work together,” Bandey told The Daily Star in an interview in Dhaka.

“We believe we could probably achieve something in three to five years. We will work on phases. It is just how quickly we can utilise everything we already have.”

Set up in 1951, the T&R specialises in designing and manufacturing of custom-made power supplies ranging from 4 to 36 megawatt.

The company started manufacturing diesel-run generators in 1975 and made a foray into the solar energy sector after much analysis in 2010.

During his fifth visit to Dhaka, Bandey also met secretaries of the implementation monitoring and evaluation division, local government, planning, power and also the chairman of Bangladesh Power Development Board. Bandey also gave a presentation for engineers at the Dhaka City Corporation about his plan.

“I have received very positive response from them. The officials have showed eagerness. They were very positive. They want to support me. It will definitely help me move forward,” he said. “I think it could be very good for Bangladesh because it will offer employment.”

“I recognise the need for power here and it is very urgent. So I want my company to start manufacturing solar panel here as such panel would be very important for the country’s future power generation. I also like to bring in diesel generators to Bangladesh.”

Bandey said solar power has become a reality for Bangladesh, as half of its population is still out of the electricity network.

“With the investment and hopefully in shared partnership, I would like to set up solar plants with a capacity of 50 megawatt. That is our long-term plan. Once completed, the plant will last over for 30 years.”

He said solar panel could be very useful in areas where there is no electricity supply. “We want to see this panel is used by local households and businesses.”

Bandey is also bullish about the country’s investment climate. “I am here for the fifth time this time. But I can see a lot of positive change now. So far I have faced no obstacle. It is very pleasant feeling.”

He said he chose Bangladesh as the base of his company’s next industrial initiative, as the country is full of talented engineers. “I believe there are a lot of talent engineers in Bangladesh, who need a bit of help and confidence. I believe we can have a very, very good manufacturing unit here. I want to tap their talents.”

He said some of Bangladesh’s textile factories and even military establishment have bought generators from his company.

T&R has presence in Asia, Africa and Latin America. “We used to be the biggest company in Africa. But the Chinese have flooded the continent with cheaper products. I do not want to compromise with the quality.”

“So, I am moving to other emerging markets, where quality products will be sold well. I will transfer technology and knowledge and use the talent of the host country,” said Bandey.

The British electrical and mechanical engineer said the prices of the final products would be much cheaper compared to other neighbouring countries, as the products will be manufactured locally.

He plans to set up five solar energy-run power plants, with capacity of 50 megawatt each in the next three to five years.

Bandey said in the next five years the price of a single unit solar energy would to equal to that of conventional energy. “The country will require more solar panel at that time, as the country’s stock of gas will deplete and imports of hundreds and thousands tonnes of oil will be challenging.”

He said although he plans to work in Bangladesh, he personally has not set any target. “As long as I get support from the government I will continue to work in Bangladesh.”

He also denied giving any figure about his investment plan. “It will depend on how much I am allowed to invest.”

Bandey also said Bangladesh’s clients should not worry about the cost of solar system. “The initial cost is higher and it is expensive too. But in the long run it will be hugely beneficial.”

“Bangladesh has much sunshine as anywhere in the world. We believe with fossil fuel running out, power will be more expensive by the day. As the technology moves on, the solar panel will be cheaper and a lot more economical.”

The T&R top official also plans to introduce windmills in the country’s coastal areas. “Bangladesh will benefit hugely if it can set up windmill in its about 70 kilometre of coastal areas alongside the solar system.”

“In the coastal areas and Chittgong, wind power could be very effective especially in certain times of the year. The problem with wind power it is not reliable as solar.”

“Like solar, wind power could be very, very useful. If we combine the two, especially in the coastal areas, we believe Bangladesh will benefit much.”

Bandey also plans to introduce solar irrigation pump to slash farmers’ dependency on the grid network or heavily subsidised diesel.

He said Bangladesh would be able to save tens of thousands of pounds if the company manufactures equipment in the country.

“Solar panels are a long-term project. I want to manufacture solar for irrigation.”

Bandey said his company is ready to start working in Bangladesh. “I hope we can start something this year. If we become successful in our first operation, we will do more.”

UK entrepreneur keen to invest in generators, solar panel plants,-solar-panel-plants_342_1_3_1_2.aspx

UK entrepreneur keen to invest in generators, solar panel plants

Steve Bandey, managing director of T&R Limited, is speaking at a function in the city on Wednesday.

Staff Correspondent

British generator and solar panel manufacturing company T&R Limited has showed keen interest to invest in power related sector in Bangladesh.

The UK-based company has aimed to invest in Bangladesh to install factory for manufacturing generator and solar panels locally in a bid to help provide Bangladesh people with the items at low costs.

“My objective for investing in Bangladesh is to utilise its skilled and cheap workforce to boost production,” the visiting T&R managing director Steve Bandey said Wednesday.

“T&R Limited is doing business in Africa, Asia, Europe and America after it was established in 1951. Steve Bandey is visiting here in response to the invitation of local company Cardiac Presision Ltd and Home Street Builders.

T&R Limited showed interests in investing in partnership for Diesel Generator Manufacturing Plant by providing technical support and consultancy, training local engineer, and design and management. It also showed interests at solar panel manufacturing plant, 5x50MW solar power plant to be implemented in 2-5 years, solar power irrigation and wind power generation.

Steve Bandey said that his company wants to make the products available in the peoples’ doorsteps at cheap rates and for this he was interested to manufacture those locally.

“Price is a very important factor to popularize any kinds of product in a developing country,” observed Steve.

Offering products at cheap rates is only possible when the products are manufactured locally, he said.

“We aim to provide our products at low prices as the local engineers are very highly skilled that might help us produce high quality products at low costs,” he said.

He said his company’s target is to export their products within 4 to 5 years after making investment in Bangladesh. “Local skilled engineers and lobourers would contribute a lot in boosting the production,” he added.

T&R power at their expected Diesel Generator Manufacturing Project would do fabrication locally in the first phase, control system in second phase and new design in the third phase. Later, it will train local engineers.

About renewable power and energy, Steve said: “We will design the solar panel locally with the technological support of a British university.”

“If we could design and manufacture the solar panel locally, it might help us supply the product at local market at cheaper rates compared to the imported cost,” he said.

“We have a plan to install five solar systems with capacity of 50 megawatt (MW) each and it would be possible within three years,” said Steve, adding: “I want to continue investment without interruption if favorable environment is ensured.”

Aluminium business pulls in newcomers

Aluminium business pulls in newcomers
Sajjadur Rahman

The market of aluminium extrusion products used in doors, windows and curtain walls has been growing rapidly as wood is getting scarce by the day.

Nearly half a dozen companies have hit the market in the past two years to cash in on the growing market size now estimated at around Tk 600 crore a year.

Of the new entrants, PHP Group, which is one of the biggest conglomerates in the country, is the latest, and started selling products in February. Aramit, Nikki Thai, Bikrampur and Dhaka Thai are some other companies, which have come into the market in recent years.

“It is less capital intensive and matches with our existing product line, such as float glasses,” said Mizanur Rahman, head of marketing of PHP Float Glass and PHP Aluminium, explaining the group’s entry into the business. PHP is producing “premium-quality” aluminium extrusion products.

Aluminium extrusion products like doors, windows, staircase handrails and supports, railings for verandas and corridors have become popular. The use of aluminium in business and office complexes, buildings, theatres as well as decorative purposes is common. Shops built with lighter materials are also consuming aluminium products.

Market players said the advantages of aluminium such as lightweight, strength, corrosion resistance, durability, easy in fabrication, attractive appearance and easy maintenance make it a popular material for use in modern buildings.

“The market is growing at a double digit rate. Scarcity of wooden materials has been prompting buyers to go for aluminium extrusion products,” said SM Sohrab, senior manager, sales of Bangladesh Thai Aluminum (BD Thai), one of the two biggest players in the market.

After KAI Bangladesh Aluminum, BD Thai has the largest share in the market. Chung Hua (former Fu-Wang Aluminum) and Dhaka Thai are other major players.

KAI Aluminum, which started production in 1997 with an annual capacity of 6,000 tonnes, has set up a second plant with over 5,000 tonnes of capacity a few years ago to meet the growing demand.

BD Thai is the oldest company established in 1979 under a joint venture with a Thai businessman. Since then it is known as Thai Aluminum in Bangladesh.

Although the market has been expanding steadily, players are concerned with the quality as some manufacturers are marketing low-cost items.

“Lower end consumers are going for low-cost products, which is very risky,” said a senior official of KAI.

Low-cost items are made of around 1 mm (millimetre) thickness against the standard thickness of minimum 1.5 mm, according to major players.

“We are also making low-cost items in line with the demand,” said a BD Thai official.

Ctg-based large mills move fast on long-steel

Ctg-based large mills move fast on long-steel
Mushir Ahmed

The country’s major steel mills, based in Chittagong, have moved very fast in billet manufacturing in a multi-billion taka investment drive that will largely determine who influences most the future of a fast-growing rod market in Bangladesh.

Industry leader Abul Khaer Group triggered the race after it opened its letter of credits (LCs) for machinery import for a US$130 million billet plant at its steel hub in Sitakundu, sources said.

The billet plant will be the largest steel plant in the country, having the capacity to meet all of AK’s 800,000 tonne capacity long-steel making unit.

Billet is an intermediate steel product, mainly produced by melting iron ore. It is melted to make rod or other long steel products. Bangladesh has several small billet plants, accounting for only 10 per cent of its need.

PHP, a leading player in steel sheet and an old rival of AK, joined the investment drive in long steel late last year, buying the country’s first private TMT steel plant at Ghorasal for Taka 800 million.

Kabir Steel started its 400,000 tonne top-grade rod plant last month and has unveiled plan to set up its own billet unit later this year — a move it says is a must to stay competitive in the fast-changing sector.

BSRM, another of the country’s leading rod manufacturer, said it was watching the gas and energy scenario too closely and has put a plan in place to raise capacity of its billet and rod plants.

Industry players said a growing uncertainty over the scrap industry stemming from a slew of law-suits by environmental campaigners against shipbreakers mainly prompted large steel mills to make rapid inroad in long-steel.

“Traditionally, re-rolled scrap irons used to dominate the country’s long-steel market. But it seems they are hit by one problem after another,” said Mohammad Shahjahan, owner of Kabir Steel.

Now the top four-five players alone can make up more than 80 per cent of the country’s three million tonne long-steel market, he said, adding quality of their steel is also far superior to the re-rolled rods.

Kabir Steel, known as KSRM, last month opened its Taka 4.0 billion top-grade 400,000 tonne steel plant at Sitakundu, raising its total capacity to about 600,000 tonnes a year. It is also planning to go big in billet manufacturing.

“Having a billet plant gives you price advantage, makes you competitive over your rivals and hedges you from volatile billet prices in international market,” he said.

Sources said the recent jumpy prices of steel raw materials was the main reason why AK has moved fast to build the country’s largest billet plant with nearly Taka 10 billion investment.

The plant would be the biggest private sector investment by a Bangladeshi group, according to bankers, and it will help the group take a firm grip in $2.0 billion long steel market.

“It’s a clever ploy by the group to move into billet manufacturing with such a massive investment. Their sudden move has left most of their rivals in the lurch,” said a source, who is familiar with AK’s steel ambition.

Experts said the move is a repetation of what AK and its Chittagong-based rival PHP did in corrugated iron (CI) sheet business back in the late 1990s.

PHP set up the country’s first Cold-rolled steel coil plant in 1998, which gave them a large advantage over rival CI sheet manufacturers. CI sheet is known as tin in Bangladesh.

Until then, Bangladeshi CI sheet manufacturers would import CR Coil and slice it into CI sheets. Fearing that the Coil plant will help PHP dictate local tin market, AK soon set up its own coil factory to remain competitive.

“Today’s race for billet manufacturing is similar to what happened in CR Coil in late 1990s and early 2000s. After PHP and AK, others such as KDS and S Alam set up their own coil plants,” said the source.

By going into coil making, big CI sheet manufacturers consolidated their backward linkwage, leading to the deaths of scores of CI sheet makers who failed to build their own CR plant.

AK officials could not be contacted for comments as the firm has always been secretive about investment plan. But a source said AK has set aside worries over gas and power to move ahead in billet manufacturing.

Zahirul Islam, a director of PHP, said the company has taken up a three-year plan to match the main players in long-steel following its acquisition of AMK Steel plant at Ghorasal.

“The market for long-steel has been growing at 10-15 per cent for the last few years. And in the near future we see the market growing even faster,” Mr. Islam told the FE.

The group has renamed the AMK’s 100,000 tonne plant into PHP Espat and is now planning to raise its capacity three-four fold within a couple of years.

“We want to do things in phases. We have just started production at the plant. But obviously, we have to go into billet and raise capacity to stay competitive in the market,” he said.

Amirhussein Akbarali of BSRM, the main top-grade rod player until AK, KSRM and PHP gate-crashed into the scene, said the company would rather wait and see how the situation evolves.

The company has a 25,000 tonne-a-month billet plant, which rougly meets half of the company’s annual need. The Chittagong-based firm plans to raise capacity significantly once the gas and power crisis eases.

“There is no doubt that our long-steel market is poised for a big growth as the construction industry booming fast,” Mr. Amirhussein, the BSRM chief executive officer, told the FE last week,

“But unless the energy situation improve, I don’t see how you can go big in new steel plant. A medium sized billet plant can alone consume 20-30 megawatt power. And that is quite a big amount of power,” he said.

Still, the CEO of BSRM has kept his fingers crossed for further investment in both billet and long-steel in the near future because of the growing apetite for quality steel products in the country.

Tata Motors to set up car spare parts plant in country

Tata Motors to set up car spare parts plant in country
FE Report

Tata Motors Ltd of India has primarily agreed to establish a spare parts industry of Tata cars in joint-venture with Bangladesh in the country.

This was disclosed Saturday at a press conference and award-giving ceremony at the Dhaka Reporters Unity in the city. The event was organised by Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners’ Association (BEIOA).

BEIOA president Abdur Razzaque, its former president Abul Hashem, senior vice- president Abdur Rashid and vice president Ali Akbar, among others, were present on the occasion.

Abdur Razzaque said the delegates from Tata Motors Ltd had primarily agreed to establish a spare parts industry of car in Bangladesh when they visited the second Bangladesh International Industrial and Engineering Technology Tradeshow (BIET-2011) that concluded on March 5.

“Besides, the light engineering industries association of Jharkhand in India invited us to visit their industries,” said the Association leader.

He said the potentiality of the country’s light engineering sector has been boosted up through the fair.

The BEIOA was the organiser of the fair and it had achieved the goal of this fair. The participation of foreign and local investors were more satisfactory compared to the last year, said the president.

He said the visions of BIET-2011 were to reduce the gap between the entrepreneurs and the consumers and to attract foreign investment.

Around 103 engineering companies participated in the fair. Of them, 34 were foreign companies and the rest were local ones.

BEIOA awarded six light engineering industries for attractive stall decoration and best products in the BIET fair.

Govt to set up modern light engineering park in future

Govt to set up modern light engineering park in future

DHAKA, MAR 3: Industries minister Dilip Barua, on Wednesday, announced to set up a separate modern light engineering industrial park for the smooth growth of the sector. “The industries ministry is working relentlessly to set up a modern light engineering industrial park in association with the help of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) and Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association (BEIOA) under PPP (Public-Private Partnership),” the industries minister said.

Dilip Barua made the comment while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the Second International Engineering and Industrial Technology Tradeshow (BIET 2011) at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) onWednesday.

Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association (BEIOA) and India-based ASK Trade and Exhibitions, jointly organised the four-day long trade expo at the BICC premises, along with the Solar Power Expo and KRISHI Bangladesh.

The inaugural ceremony of the expo was presided over by the BEIOA’s president Abdur Razzaque, while president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), AK Azad, and chairman of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Fakrul Islam, addressed the ceremony as the special guests.

Grasping the economical importance of the light engineering industry, Barua said, the government has already given recognition to the sector by including the sector in the industrial policy as a thrust sector.

The exporters of light engineering products are enjoying 10 per cent cash incentive to boost the export earning, Barua added. “Our home made light engineering products have a colossal demand in the US market as the US importers have already expressed keen interest in importing light engineering products from Bangladesh,” the minister said.

“I believe the Second International Engineering Products and Technology Tradeshow BIET-2011 will play a meaningful role in disseminating the local light engineering products as well as the event will help the entrepreneurs of the sector in introducing with the world’s latest technology,” he said.

Terming the acute shortage of gas and electricity as a major obstacle to the industrialisation process, FBCCI president AK Azad said that I can take the responsibility of private sector if gas and electricity problems are resolved.

The foreign investment would be increased in Bangladesh if the government assures of smooth supply of gas and electricity, he said.

BEIOA president Abdur Razzaque said that the trade show will help our sector and members to modernise and expand by sourcing the new machinery and parts being displayed at the fair.

A total of over 100 industries from Bangladesh, India and China are taking part at the event to display the latest technological advancements of industrial and engineering equipment, materials, services and technologies in related fields, from Bangladeshi and foreign companies, organisers said.

The show will be open for visitors from 10am to 8pm everyday.

Steelmaker plans big

Steelmaker plans big

Zahirul Islam

Arun Bikash Dey, Ctg

PHP Group moves to expand and diversify, as it plans to make a strong foothold in the country’s steel industry. The company has recently acquired a steel mill at Ghorashal, AMK Steels Mill, to produce deformed bar.

“We wanted to expand our steel industry. At present we produce corrugated iron sheet in our PHP Cold Rolling Mills and PHP Continuous Galvanising Mills. Now we are going to make deformed bar in the new mill,” says Zahirul Islam, managing director of PHP Ispat Ltd, a sister concern of the group.

Islam shares his views with The Daily Star on the company’s latest move.

AMK Steels Mill that produces thermo mechanical treatment deformed bar was established in 2005. “The company was facing some problems, and those were hard for the company to avoid. So we acquired it for a renovation,” says Islam.

The net asset value of AMK Steels is around Tk 75 crore and the total asset value of the two mills is Tk 1,000 crore.

AMK Steels has been renamed PHP Ispat after acquisition.

PHP Cold Rolling Mills is the first of such mill in the country that started operations in 1999 and PHP Continuous Galvanising Mills started operations in 2001.

These two mills produce nearly 15,000 tonnes of corrugated iron sheet a month, meeting around 40 percent demand of the country. “Our annual turnover from the mills is Tk 2,000 crore.”

PHP Arabian Horse and PHP Arabian Horse Super are the two brands of the company’s tins.

The official says they expect an increase in annual turnover by Tk 500 crore with the latest acquisition.

The country needs nearly 17 lakh tonnes of thermo mechanical treatment deformed-bar and 60-grade bar a year, according to Bangladesh Re-rolling Mill Owners’ Association.

“We expect to produce one lakh tonnes a year and reach the three-lakh-tonne mark in the second or third year,” Islam says. “We hope to meet about 7 percent of Bangladesh’s total demand initially.”

The company exports its PHP Arabian Horse and PHP Arabian Horse Super tins to Europe and Africa. In case of deformed bar, he says the company targets to fulfil the domestic demands at first, as the country still depends on imports.

Islam says steel is one of the important sectors in Bangladesh. “The demand for rod will increase on a regular basis. We are heading to become a developed nation. So we want to produce the best quality rods and fulfil the country’s entire demand.”

“If we take initiatives to make best quality products then our competitors will also do so,” Islam says. “This healthy competition will let our people buy quality rods at competitive price.”